As usual, Whitman had the loudest team cheer and the most team spirit in our first weekend of Northwest Conference competition. Last weekend's Sprint Pentathlon at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, and NW Relays at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, were Whitman's first look at the rest of the conference.
Whitman had a very strong showing on Saturday evening. Freshman, Cameo Hlebasko was the highest placing Whitman woman, getting fourth overall with a time of 3:02.85. The meet is scored by adding together times from the five events swum by each athlete: 100IM, and a 50 of each stroke. Freshman Kendra Clinton also placed in the top 10 with a time of 3:06.34, enough for 10th place. The Whitman men put three in the top five overall. Sophomore, Karl Mering won the meet with a combined time of 2:38.49, just beating out Whitworth's Aaron Vaccaro. Senior, Galen Sollom-Brotherton was 4th with a combined time of 2:39.88, and sophomore, Nic Win, was 5th at 2:41.01. There were also several individual event winners: Nic Win: 50 backstroke, 25.53; Genay Pilarowsky: 50 breaststroke, 31.90; Paul Chang: 50 breaststroke, 28.04; Karl Mering: 50 freestyle, 21.99.
Sunday's relay meet was no less impressive as the men and women combined for a second place finish. Whitman took control in several relays, flashing depth and winning easily in several events. Freshmen Cameo Hlebasko and Kendra Clinton combined with Senior Libby Arnosti for a dominant 3 X 100 backstroke relay that won the meet in 3:08.07. Not to be outdone, Freshman Will Erickson and Sophomores Karl Mering and Nic Win followed suit with a blowout victory in their 3 X 100 backstroke relay, posting a time of 2:42.90, nearly five seconds faster than second place UPS. Following Saturday's rarely contested 100 IM, the swimmers had another shot at the event--this time in a relay. Seniors, Paul Chang and Galen Sollom-Brotherton combined with Sophomore, Nic Win for a victory in the 3 X 100IM relay, beating second place Whitworth, in 2:47.44.
Standard 200 and 400 freestyle relays were turned into mixed events, using any combination of two men and two women. After last season's multiple team relay records in the freestyle relays, it was no surprise that Whitman seized control of the mixed freestyle relays. Senior, Helen Jenne, Junior, Shunei Asao, Freshman, Cameo Hlebasko, and Sophomore, Karl Mering teamed up to make a powerful relay that won in a resounding 1:34.41. Exactly one second ahead of second place PLU. Mering, Hlebasko, Jenne and Galen Sollom-Brotherton combined for an even more dominant 400 freestyle relay, winning easily in 3:26.57.
Regular Conference dual meets begin this weekend at home against Linfield (Friday at 6pm), and Willamette (Saturday at 1pm).